The Iranian deputy foreign minister for political affairs says Iran can resume its nuclear obligations “swiftly and easily” once the United States meaningfully lifts its sanctions against the Islamic Republic, adding, however, that everything depends on Washington.
Abbas Araqchi made the remarks to Japan’s public broadcaster NHK on Wednesday, referring to Iran’s obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
The US left the deal in May 2018 under the now-outgoing President Donald Trump and returned the sanctions that the accord had lifted. This prompted Iran to begin a set of nuclear countermeasures to trigger Washington and other deal partners to resume their JCPOA commitments.
As the US would steadily refrain from doing so, the Islamic Republic stepped up its reprisal until it announced last year that it was no longer committed to the limits it had undertaken to observe under the deal, including refusal to enrich uranium at 20-percent purity level.
Incoming US President Joe Biden has, however, voiced a willingness to bring his country back into the deal.
Araqchi said once Washington lifted the bans again and Iran started to draw benefit from this once more, “We can easily return to implementing our commitments [too].”
The 20-percent-level enrichment “can be easily and swiftly reversed” by the same token, he added.
Araqchi, meanwhile, reminded that the US reintroduction of the illegal and unilateral sanctions had afflicted “much pain and suffering” on Iranians throughout the past years, noting that Iranian diplomats would not spare even a minute to try to have the bans lifted.
The official said Iran would welcome Washington’s potential resumption of its nuclear obligations, “but we are not begging for their return,” adding, “It is up to them to decide”